HomeWinBuzzer NewsApple Incurs 500 Million Euro Fine Over Spotify Antitrust Case

Apple Incurs 500 Million Euro Fine Over Spotify Antitrust Case

Apple faces €500M EU fine for allegedly limiting app subscription options, favoring its own services like Apple Music.

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Following an extensive investigation by European regulators into a complaint filed by Spotify, is set to be fined approximately 500 million euros (around 539 million USD). The investigation stemmed from allegations that Apple's App Store policies unfairly limited competition and prevented apps from directing users to more affordable subscription options outside of Apple's ecosystem.

European Commission's Decision

The crux of the issue lies in Apple's stringent control over its App Store, where it has historically restricted developers from linking or directing users to external methods for subscriptions, severely hampering competitors like . Apple's policies were criticized for protecting its own service by disadvantaging alternatives. The European Union initiated an investigation in 2020, following Spotify's formal complaint in 2019, focusing on these restrictive practices.

Change in Policy and Ongoing Disputes

In a significant policy shift, Apple adjusted its App Store guidelines in January, bowing to regulatory pressure from Europe by allowing developers to guide users to external subscription mechanisms. Despite this change, the EU's decision indicates a broader concern over Apple's long-standing App Store practices and their impact on competition. The penalty, while substantial, falls short of the maximum possible fine that could have reached up to 10 percent of Apple's annual global turnover—amounting to nearly 40 billion USD—highlighting the gravity of the situation and the EU's stance on anticompetitive behavior.

Apple and Spotify's Responses

Representatives from Apple have refrained from commenting directly on the reported fine, pointing towards previous statements emphasizing their hope that the European Commission would conclude the case lacks merit. On the other side, Spotify has not issued a response regarding the recent development in their antitrust complaint against Apple.

Shortly after the launch of Apple in 2018, the company's CEO took aim at Spotify by claiming the rival is only in the music curation industry for money. He claimed Spotify's model was constraining artists while Apple's approach is music-first. 

As regulators and technology giants continue to navigate the evolving landscape of digital marketplaces, this case underscores the ongoing debates around app store policies, competition, and consumer choice. The European Commission's action against Apple is a significant step in addressing these issues, reflecting a broader push for transparency and fairness in the .

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.